The Second-Wind Ensemble began on Thursday, April 30, 1998 as the Late Starters Band. Seventy-five people gathered at the Flinders Street School of Music on that day for the first rehearsal. The founding director was Bob Hower who, at that time, was the director of the Elder Conservatorium Wind Ensemble.

Bob modelled the Late Starters’ Band on a similar bands begun in Queensland. He wanted to encourage would-be musicians who had a desire to learn, but never had, to join similarly minded people to develop latent musical talents. A few of the late starters had dim memories of childhood crochets and quavers, but most couldn’t play a note when they first met.

Some had instruments in the house, having supported children through music studies. They had dusted off saxophones, clarinets, flutes, oboes, trumpets, trombones, bassoons and a French horn from beneath beds and out of garages. Others begged, borrowed, hired or bought instruments.


The band's first gig on 17 July 1999 had us cramped on the balcony of the Portside Recreation Centre

Just some six weeks after the band began, other commitments caused Bob to step down from his position as Musical Director. The very inexperienced band members were understandably a little apprehensive about the band's future but Bob asked Darryl Pope to step to fill his shoes. Darryl's friendly and humorous style and his experience as a musician and music educator soon put any fears to rest. He has carried the baton to the present time.

With the closure of the Flinders Street Music School at the end of 2001, the Band moved its base to Pulteney Grammar School on South Terrace. Originally practice took place in the main hall, and then, the cosier primary school music room became our 'home' although in 2011 and 2012 practice locations varied within the school as it underwent a new building program.

Since 2013 the band has been located in the music suite at Pembroke College.

NOTE: It is intended that the history of the Ensemble and all ongoing activity will be captured  at our Facebook page at


This page will become redundant.

this page updated January 2017